Moai Statues, Easter Island, Chile • 360° Aerial Panoramas
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I was amazed by Easter Island the minute I walked across the field of the local airport. Rich, vibrant colors made me feel like a Disney cartoon character. Later that evening I went sightseeing with my friend Dima and wound up on the shore of the Pacific Ocean. It was the second time I lost my breath: the local color palette was beyond my imagination.
Of course we couldn't help but try to shoot something the same evening. But vigilant rangers saw our equipment and asked to get the official photo permit first. Locals are very concerned about the safety of Moai, the famous giant statues of Easter Island. You can easily get in jail if you harm the statues in any way.
The next morning we went to the National Park's administration office. The director was absent so his colleagues suggested we fill out the photo permit application, which was 5 pages long and in Spanish :) We didn't know Spanish very well. Only "hi", "good bye", and "check, please". Mister Hutu, the director, arrived about 30 minutes later riding his little motorcycle. Having learned about our situation, Mr. Hutu explained us how one can get the permit: you need to fill out this very form in Spanish, scan it, mail it and wait for 10 to 15 days. And we had only 1 day... So Dima had to use his power of persuasion to the maximum. He told Mr. Hutu about our non-profit project and showed examples of panoramic photos on his laptop.
To cut a long story short, we got our official photo permit in 10 minutes. Mr. Hutu didn't hesitate to take responsibility and issued us the permit, and in that regard he surprised us very much (we hadn't met such an easy going official before). He didn't even take our money. But there were conditions: we had to be accompanied by a local ranger, the young man named Kawa. Furthermore, Mr. Hutu asked us to send him a copy of our photographs. He said they would be used as educational materials in local schools.
As soon as we were finished, we rushed to take pictures. At first, Kawa was very suspicious of our radio-controlled helicopter, but after few launches he got excited just like we were and helped us in any way he could. From that moment on, we didn't have to look at the map — we just followed Kawa's directions. Every time local rangers (usually very strict looking) noticed Kawa, they gave us big smiles and showed best spots for shooting.
To our big surprise, there weren't that many standing statues on the famous Easter Island. Instead, most of them were lying in different poses. Most of the time they were "with their face in the salad", as one famous blogger said. Some Moai were restored and cemented on ceremonial grounds of Tongariki, Anakena, Tahai, Ahu Akivi. And only on the slopes of Rano Raraku volcano the statues the give you the most authentic impression. Giant figures are in different stages of completeness: they are shoulder deep in the ground or even merged with the walls of the dead volcano.
Most of the tourists don't see these sights because only standard paths are open for public in the park. We had to go beyond our piloting skills to photograph places that are not available to ordinary tourists. Only the view from above can show us the scale of this "factory of idols" made of volcanic rock of these very crater's walls. So one could say that we were able to lift the veil of mystery covering Easter Island.
But first we had to endure a very bad weather. The first two days of the shooting were rainy and gloomy. The next morning, right before our departure, we had to work hard to retake photos of main locations of the ancient statues. Of course, two days were not enough to carefully explore this little piece of land forsaken in the middle of the Pacific ocean. But our three-week trip to Peru and Chili was coming to an end and we had to pack our bags and leave the island.
Here is Dima Moiseenko's comment:
The legendary Moai statues were not the only thing that fascinated me on Easter Island. There is a little local restaurant on the bay that serves fresh fish, which name I couldn't possibly pronounce. I would return to the island any time just to taste that fish again.
And now we'll share some information about the island:
The AirPano team has photographed a great number of amazing places on the planet for the last several years. However nothing can compare with Easter Island, the most remote inhabitant piece of land in the world. This small island (164 sq km) holds the greatest number of unsolved mysteries.
Pick any fact from the long list and it would send your mind spinning with different mystery theories. However if you see those mysteries as a unified system, as links of one chain, suddenly, the veil of the great mystery is lifted. There is much more to this island than meets the eye. There are phenomena, which are absolutely untypical not only to this region but also to the natives.
Beside its name, which was given to Easter Island by Jacob Roggeveen, the God-loving Dutch explorer, the island has at least eight other names. Among them are Te Pito O Te Henua, which means "the Navel of the World", and Mata Ki Te Rangi, which can be translated as "Eyes looking to the sky". Rapa Nui, Easter Island's native population of 4 thousand people, has the richest and absolutely unique mythology. Furthermore, this is the only island in the entire Polynesian region that developed a written language. And of course, we have to mention the main tourist attraction of Easter Island — famous moai statues. These monoliths are made of solidified volcanic ash. They are up to 20 meters tall, and each of them weights over 20 tons. There are total of 997 moai statues on Easter Island.
The only question scientists were able to answer so far (thanks to the experiment of Thor Heyerdahl, famous Norwegian traveler) is how the statues were moved from stone quarries and set around the island with limited technologies available at that time. The explanation turned out to be quite simple: Rapa Nui people showed moving devices that they made of wood and rocks.
But it didn't explain the purpose of moai statues and whom they portrayed. The elongated heads don't look exactly human. Erich von Daniken, a Swiss novelist, had his own theory. He suggested that long time ago an alien space ship broke down and ET were forced to land on the island. While repairing the space ship, they had fun casting each other in stone. This is why moai statues have such non-human elongated faces. This also explains one of the island's names — "Eyes looking to the sky" As soon as the space ship was fixed, extra terrestrial visitors departed leaving the statues behind, many of them unfinished.
Helena Blavatsky, a philosopher and occultist, believed that Easter Island was a part of mythical country Lemuria. Along with Lemurians, survivors of lost Atlantis, also populated this country. Both races were 7 to 18 meters tall. This is why it was not so hard for the giants to make and install these monoliths.
There is one more mysterious (and still unsolved) question: why did one of the emperors of the ancient Inca visit such a remote island? And he was not just a common emperor, he was the one who ruled during Golden Age of the Inca Empire, and whose father built Machu Picchu, the famous Peru landmark.
Throw in a unique — still undeciphered by scientists — ancient written language, along with a cult of a mystical Bird Man, and all pieces of the puzzle will fall together.
Yes, there was a non-human civilization on this island. It could be aliens, people of Atlantis, or ancestors of the ancient Inca (whose mysteries are also unsolved by modern science). Yes, that civilization vanished (or returned to their home planet). And yes, along with a number of mysteries, it also left us a proof of its existence: the written language, the mythology and the giant monuments, which common aboriginals of this "middle-of-nowhere" island would not care for. There are thousands of similar islands in the world, but none of them has such a unique and mysterious culture as Easter Island.
Who knows, perhaps by looking at our photographs from Easter Island or traveling with our aerial panoramas you will be able to find the answers?
Compare the size of statues and the height of man
11 May 2012
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oussama hocine, Algeria
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chileno orgulloso y ver estas fotografías de mi país me deja sin palabras desde ya mil gracias por esta secuencias de 360 por favor no paren con esta propuesta"
Cristian Garrido, Brazil
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Eugenia Stathopoulou, Greece
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MANFRED KERN, Chile
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Terry Cerda, Australia
"Gracias por compartir nuestro mundo.
La música es importante. Ej. Isla de Pascua debe tener una grabación de la espléndida música que ellos tocan,cantan y bailan."
Sylvia Vicuña, Chile
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and on the web I found this website as a best web page for most recent updates."
Franchesca Ainsworth, Ireland
"gracias a la tecnologia podemos disfrutar de las bellezas de nuestro planeta tierra,que hermoso diseño gracias al creador del cielo y la tierra y el unico propietario ." JEHOVA " el dios verdadero."
spiderman miranda, Spain
jose enrique tapia gutierrez, Peru
"I have always been intriguiued by these mysterious figures in the middle of nowhere ever since I watched a documentary on Discovery channel on these serene figures.Thank u for a lifelong wish to see these giants in high definition :P"
Dona Thapa, India
"Enjoy our world. Look how beautifull is our "only" world. You have no time in your whole life to see all the beauties."
Ruud Walig, Netherlands
"Magnificent. What a thrilling experience through your photography!!"
Ed Nelson, USA
"Wonderful - when we wil be able to really discover what happen at the Easter Islands?
Thank you so mcuh. It was just great"
Emma Mendoza, Colombia
"sorry 1 more thing -- after my experience I kept thinking of Easter Island and the MOAI and I couldn't get the image of all the original islanders whom help made the huge statues did it as a way to preserve what they saw and experienced every person that had something amazing happen to them got a statue and then the spheres of light would go into the moai threw their backs and make them vibrate the same way as the buildings vibrated for me, I looked up pics of the moai heads and found out they have bodies and on their backs are spheres just like what I was imagining and on the back head of one moai is a carving of a sphere of light going into the mouth of a man, past his teeth !! same as Mayan calendar is a sphere with the sphere going into his mouth!!! and a lot of ancient drawings this experience happened thank you this is all for now."
Ryan Gradwell, Canada
"also the ancient mayan astronaut carving shows the exact same experience I had in the border starting from top right down then top left down like a comic strip and in the 1st frame you see a man with light surrounding him spheres above his head moving and his hand is cupped like he is drinking the light the next frame down his hand is gone he now looks possessed his eyes are white his hair is standing up and the light around him is vibrating like crazy and his ears are vibrating then the bottom frame he is now faceing the other way waving goodbye to the sphere's now leaving and he is normal again then it shows him as a old man passing on this experience and telling a white man who has his own sphere story.. I believe when he was possessed he saw the future and drew the picture of the ancient astronaut ."
Ryan Gradwell, Canada
"In black he looked sorta like the presit in exorsist , but with a briefcase so anyways he walk towards my direction and as he came close to the clearing I was looking at the noise abruptly stops and he too is now facing the direction of wher the noise was coming from I did talk to him I just left feeling good that he heartd it too, after this I found that what I had experienced was the same as what ther mayans and the Rapa Nui and Egyptians all expienced, the proof is written in stone. look in all ancient carvings an drawings their is always a sphere of vibrating light going into people, usually goin into their mouth.."
Ryan Gradwell, Canada
"Hello, I love your photos and you have really awesome information. I was wondering if I could possibly use some of your information and copies of your AWESOME photos in my soical studies essay that im writung at the moment as its about Easter Island and the Moai. I am asking becasue I do not want to plagerise. I will link everything that I use back to your website so people don't think thatI made everything up/stole your work. Thank you for your time, please get back to me asap! Thanks :)"
Christie Sage, New Zealand
"I am enthralled...spellbound...this is SOOOO mysterious...the statues are GIGANTIC.And they kind of creep me out...but still,History has always proved to to be mystifying.
Your blog should be read by everyone...and I mean EVERYONE!
You are a great writer and your observations are very clear.
I wish you best of luck for future trips and may ALLAH bless you!
I am yours truly,
Zainab Kaifi, Pakistan
"i want a mo'ai ! (:"
zack becham, USA
Simon Mason, Chile
Jacek Sadowski, Poland
"Bucket list...yes the island is on it. Breathe taking. Thank you for sharing and helping to make the world feel smaller and all of us closer to each other."
Jenny Lynn, Canada
"Awesome place simply super"
Girish S, India
"it is really amazing place"
shadi minafar, Iran
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Lucía Berthet, Argentina
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CATHI Rivera, USA
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angela ruedy, Switzerland
"Thank you.Fantastic Trip.amazing"
Anna Lykoudi, Greece
"This is just a simple thank you for putting up such a beautiful site.I hope to go to a least one place on this site. Peace"
Jesse Munoz, USA
LUTGARDO PARRA, Mexico
"I have been to Easter Island 10 years ago. Your nice
pictures helped me to live through my life-time ex
perience once more. Thank you very much.
Miklos Bukovszky, Hungary
"cudovite fotografije, pokrajina mitoloska.., ..ljudje bodo drli to videt, zal mi je za otok.."
dare oklescen, Slovenia
"Fantastic!! As we say in Hawaii, "Mahalo nui loa!" Big thanks!"
Mike Griffin, USA
"hi.again thanks for your beautiful picture.i dont know what should i say,because of its so interesting and also is AWESOME because of its show the difference between just human and last i think about 1000 years ago humans.by"
hassan montazery, Iran
"Es una maravilla!"
Ana Teresa Caporaletti, Argentina
"Your sense of humor is the best, just like the fish...Thanks!!"
Luisa SChaves, USA
"ALLAH IS GREAT ! SUBHANA LAH !
This is AWESOME , thank you very much"
Hamza Jyetoukoum, Morocco
"Is it possible to go and witness for oneself this magical place? Always bearing n mind the need to respect this unique environment.
Thamk you for your magnificent coverage."
Jo Havell, United Kingdom
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Geethika reddy Ammu, India
"Nice scenery and statues"
Gerald Ginting, Indonesia
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Saif Merchant, India
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Hudson Delgado Alba, Brazil
"What a magical web-site; each of the panoramas is really magic. I am currently enjoying the atmospheric music and I will go back to those enthralling images of Moai Statues, Easter Island, Chile just as soon as I have finished this e-mail.
Congratulations to all involved!"
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"Magical!!!Such a great work!!Just what my mind and soul needs to travel!!Congratulations and thank you for sharing!!!"
Marios Sotiropoulos, Greece
CAROLYN M. SM-PRYOR, USA
Gopi Krishna Pocham, India